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BEYOND EXPRESSION

Finch

Symphonic Prog


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The Owl
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Very melodic fiery and expressive instrumental symphonic prog. Joop Van Nimwegen is a very expressive guitarist, influenced by Steve Howe to a certain degree but in no way a clone. Great tunes and arrangements, recording quality not the greatest but the performances more than make up for it.

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Send comments to The Owl (BETA) | Report this review (#27058)
Posted Wednesday, January 28, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Goin´dutch ?? Well yeah..after this wonderfull experience...FINCH.... ist a Dutch prog group in the Focus wein.....instrumental..and beautifully so.... guitar,keyboards,drums and bass.....full tilt ahead...imagine Focus on speed!! No..really....this is first rate prog...virtuoso guitarplaying...... arrangements a la plenty.......i love this group!!! Too bad they "only" made 3 albums.....on the other hand...all 3 are great!!! Get them...start with this one!! OK!?

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Send comments to Tonny Larz (BETA) | Report this review (#27059)
Posted Saturday, January 31, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Finch's second album certainly picked up where its predecessor had left things at, but it might just be that that they overeached themselves too. Indeed the group attacked their second album with the idea to go one further than previously, so they only did three tracks for Beyond Expression. Musically the album is tad rockier and a tad less jazzy, so you'll see more Yes-excess rather than Mahavishnu With an unchanged line-up and a cosmic "inner tripes" artwork, the group amounts the typical prog excesses they had just managed to avoid in their previous album. Don't get me wrong, unless you're playing these two albums back to back, this shouldn't be noticeable.

So, just three tracks (that's one better than the previous four) and the 20-minutes Passion Condensed (I'd hate to see the size of their passion extended ;o)p))))), the group is definitely keeping Yes in their vision, but in a pompous/bombastic way, ELP is almost in their line of fire, without sounding at all like them. Pure prog galore and yummy yumyum for the fans of such excesses.

The flipside is again more of the same, and Scars On The Ego (interesting title) it's now clear that Focus and Mahavishnu are not the focus of attention (unintended pun, but unavoidable too) of the quartet. This track starts slowly and tends to remain mid-tempo, even if Joop's guitar raises the sonic level to 11 in its second half. Van Nimwegen's influences are clearly Jan Akkerman, John McLaughlin and Steve Howe, his style is harder and sometimes this album has got me thinking of Colosseum II's debut album (without vocals), so I guess saying Gary Moore is also a possibility. The closing Beyond The Bizarre is the album highlight with plenty of drama and tempo changes

While the album sold still at respectable levels, its clear that BE was simply too close to GOIF, yet not as good either, but this is only noticeable if you compare the two actively. Still definitely worth throwing an ear on it, but remind yourself to pick it back up: it's messy for others and who knows?.. you might still need it again sometime soon. .

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#27054)
Posted Monday, February 02, 2004 | Review Permalink
loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Indispenable classic progressive rock album taking the band in a different direction than that explored on their classic debut album ("Glory Of The Inner Force") . I guess if you had 1 instrumental album to buy this year then I have your stocking stuffer kids! There are only 3 nice long songs on this album and is much more exploratory than their debut album. FINCH were well known for being an unpredictable band blending chunky hard driving parts with more spacey softer subdued interludes. Once again a fair amount of analog keyboards are utilized with some lovely moog and mellotron runs. At times FINCH sound like YES trying to perform Perpetual Change while on speed... Without a question the center piece of FINCH is the Les Paul guitar work of Joop Van Nimwegen who performs some highly technical and full bodied parts. Hard for me to pick a fav between "Glory..." and "Beyond Expression" but I would definitely put into the essential category...

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#27051)
Posted Friday, March 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
Steve Hegede
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars FINCH released several instrumental prog albums back in the seventies before calling it a day. They were a 4-piece band consisting of bass, drums, keyboards, and guitar. Guitarist Joop Van Nimwegen leads the band through the dozens of themes in each track. Those themes tend to be melodic in a classical sort of way, yet have a theatrical hard rock influence (think Brian May in an instrumental prog rock band). The various sections range from mellow, guitar arpeggio-led, moods to heavy riffing and soloing. The keyboardist is also given plenty of room to play his various analog beasts. The closest band that I could compared FINCH to is MODRY EFEKT. Both bands were led by skilled guitarists, yet everything sounds like a band effort and the music never becomes an excuse for endless guitar noodling. Many consider "Beyond Expression" to be FINCH's best album, but there are two other albums on the market that are of equal interest.

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Send comments to Steve Hegede (BETA) | Report this review (#27052)
Posted Sunday, March 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
Proghead
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars For me, I don't feel "Beyond Expression" quite lives up to the greatness of "Glory of the Inner Force". Here, the band went for a less raw and aggressive, more polished production. The opening cut, "A Passion Condensed" is truly a wonderful prog masterpiece, showing the guitar talents of Joop van Nimwegen. I wished Cleem Determeijer still used a Mellotron like he did on their debut, so instead he replaced it with a Solina string synth. He still uses plenty of Hammond organ, of course. I especially like the atmospheric middle part where Determeijer used a Wurlitzer electric piao. "Scars on the Ego" is another great piece, with a bit of a more "heavy metal" approach, especially in the guitar. It's still progressive, though. But it's that last song, "Beyond the Bizarre" that I was really disappointed with. It starts off interesting enough with some spacy string synths, but the second half of the piece really turns to crap with this cheesy classical piano, and cheesy guitar licks. That last song I can barely tolerate. This would be the last album to feature Cleem Determeijer and drummer Beer Klaase. Aside from "Beyond the Bizarre", this is still worth having, but go for "Glory of the Inner Force" first.

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Send comments to Proghead (BETA) | Report this review (#27053)
Posted Sunday, May 02, 2004 | Review Permalink
slipperman
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Slightly less frantic and a bit more challenging, Finch's second rounds off some of the sharp edges, but it's no less adventurous than the debut. The 20-minute "A Passion Condensed" will probably stand for all time as their defining masterpiece, its mood changes and structural layers revealing themselves after many attentive listens. Each passage merges easily into the next, showing Finch at the top of their game, each member completely dialed-in and making this huge piece work. "Scars On The Ego" smashes through next, standing as their heaviest-ever track. Based around a riff that feels like pure epic metal, the middle of the song settles into a hypnotic cosmic caress before erupting in a fury of sparks and fire (thanks to the wailing punishment keyboardist Cleem Determeijer and guitarist Joop Van Nimwegen dish out to their instruments). While the title of third track "Beyond The Bizarre" would seem to indicate a wilder ride ahead, it is simply 14 minutes of typical Finch. It bounces between mellow and manic, highlighted by a joyous lightning-speed workout from the stringed instrumentalists. The middle-to-end section of this bouncy piece gives Determeijer several minutes of spotlight time before a rather dramatic ending brings things to a close. Straight piano doesn't often convince in progrock-we're totally spoiled by Moogs, Hammonds, synths, Mellotrons and such, no?-- so this section of "Beyond The Bizarre" is a bit boring, offering the only real lull on the album. Not as direct as their first, nor as refined as their third, this can probably be considered the most challenging and eventful of the three Finch albums.

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Send comments to slipperman (BETA) | Report this review (#27061)
Posted Tuesday, January 04, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars What a fantastic prog band these guys were! It's a real shame they were utterly unknown outside their own country. They are a progressive rock fan's dream band - they have it all - the instrumental super-skills, the ability to construct complex, lengthy, highly melodic, symphonic pieces filled with every progressive device imaginable. Their mastery is accentuated by the fact that their music is entirely instrumental, which forces musicians to stretch their expressiveness and inventiveness to the limits, since they do not rely on vocals and lyrics. Their masterpiece is the 20-minute epic of epics, Passion Condensed. What a monster track that is! Everything that is great about symphonic prog can be found in it. In the middle of the piece is one of the most drop-dead gorgeous keyboard and guitar passages I've ever heard, interrupted by a furious guitar improvization before it resumes again. The chords are simply breathtaking. The piece begins and concludes with some high- power all-band acrobatics which include the main theme. The other two great tracks on the album are just as inventive and melodic as Passion Condensed. I consider this album indispensable because it is one of the most pure and archetypal examples of symphonic progressice rock that I have ever heard. All that without a lead singer!

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Send comments to EMinkovitch (BETA) | Report this review (#27062)
Posted Monday, January 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Finch evokes very pleasant adolescent memories. I had a kind of competition with one of my best friends: "Who will discover the best prog?". In general it was me because of my fanatic attitude, close to compulsive behavior. One day he came with the LP "Beyond expression" from Finch and I was so jealous because this album could compete with the best from other Dutch masters like Focus, Trace, Earth & Fire, Ekseption and Kayak ! But what a fine coincidence that many years later, when I worked for several progrock magazines, I was invited to write the linner notes for Finch their 2-CD "The making of galleons of passion../Stage 76". As an adolescent the Finch musicians were my heroes and 20 years later I was allowed to do interviews with them in order to write a histroy of the band, A VERY EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE! Finch has always played in the shadow of the more famous Dutch progbands Focus, Ekseption. Earth & Fire and Trace. But they were excellent musicians who created an own sound on their best album "Beyond expression". The longest suite "A passion condensed" starts bombastic with a fiery electric guitar, delicate piano and a soaring string-ensemble. It slows down and after a short bass-run the focus is on the excellent guitarplay of Joop van Nimwegen (famous Focus guitarplayer Jan Akkerman called him a great talent when he saw him on a German festival!). The music contains lots of changes in movement and climate with a strong and adventurous rhythm-section (with Chris Squire inspired bass play) and tasteful keyboards (fine solos on the ARP synthesizer and Hammond organ). Halfway a twanging electric guitar starts to blend with a Wurlitzer electric piano, a beautiful combination. Suddenly the electric guitar speeds up the rhythm to culminate in an exciting solo with lots of biting runs. Then again twanging electric guitar and electric piano, joined by another exciting electric guitar solo with inventive keyboards (organ, strings, piano). The music continues with a swinging rhythm, flights on the synthsizer and a phaser-drenched electric guitar. After a short piano break a sensational duel between a flashy synthesizer and a biting electric guitar follows. The music continues with a swinging rythm to end with a bombastic grand finale containing beautiful strings, a powerful electric guitar and a propulsive rhythm-section. Technically this music can compete with the other, more famous bands but commercially it didn't reach that sales to make a breakthrough to a wider audience, unfortunately. THIS IS A DUTCH PROGROCK CLASSIC!!

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#37704)
Posted Sunday, June 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I got this album through mail order for $16,and I was not dissapointed.I would say that this is still comparable with ''Glory of Inner Force'',but with a more progressive edge,along the lines of a heavier YES.The album kicks off with the 20 minute song''A Passion Condensed'',which is a guitar rock song,with some keyboard work and funk like rhythms at times,during the first 8 minutes. Between 8 and 11 minutes into the song, there is a mellow electric guitar solo,with some piano work in the background.Then,between 11 and 13 minutes into the song,it turns back to guitar rock.The mellow electric guitar solo comes back into play again between 13 and 15 minutes into the song,with some keyboard work.The remaining 5 minutes of the song is guitar/keyboard rock."Scars On The Ego''(8:51)starts out with a siren sound for 18 seconds,and the music comes into play,changing back and forth between guitar and keyboard rock,and mellow passages.During the last 1:40 minutes of the song,the song speeds up to fast playing,like FOCUS or MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA.''Beyond The Bizarre''(14:32) starts out mellow,and moves at a steady pace,with guitar and keyboard work,and drums.There is a piano solo between 5.50 and 7.20,then the music comes back in.Between 8:52 and 11:35,there is some mellow electric guitar work,along with some acoustic guitar passages and cymbal tapping. The song ends in a melodic way,musically.I would say this is not quite as great as ''Glory of Inner Force'',but I still give it 4 stars.

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Send comments to jasonpw. (BETA) | Report this review (#111723)
Posted Monday, February 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars For me, I don't feel "Beyond Expression" quite lives up to the greatness of what were released in the mid '70. Here, the band went for a less raw and aggressive, more polished production, than on previous one. The opening cut, "A Passion Condensed" is truly a wonderful prog masterpiece, showing the guitar talents of Joop van Nimwegen. Sometimes i feel like the pieces are to long, and you easily loose the core of the album. If were at least 5 piece and each one less longer, i might give 5 stars, but i give only 4, Finch is one of the best dutch band along with Focus, Kayak. Woth it to have in your colection.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#125386)
Posted Monday, June 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars An excellent album, but strangely(?) though, the live versions seemed always better...

As always: dutch albums suffered from incompetent producers, that tried to smooth, better smother, the sharp edges. On the other hand: their third album was produced by a UK-guy called Sandy Roberton(?), and that was really a "jelly" treat.

Still: "Live", you could hear the final potential...

Please get a copy of Live '76", which was released a couple of years ago, to recognize the power of "beyond expression", and of course the songs/tunes of "Glory of the inner force"

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Send comments to elwin (BETA) | Report this review (#149453)
Posted Wednesday, November 07, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars I find this album to be a little more symphonic than the debut. It's also a little less jazzy, a little softer and a little slower. But, that doesn't mean it is not as good. I think I like this one a little bit more than the debut, but both are excellent. We still have excellent instrumental prog here with lot's of very kool guitar hooks. Highly recommended.

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Send comments to digdug (BETA) | Report this review (#174501)
Posted Thursday, June 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Neo Prog Team
3 stars Considered as one of the top progressive rock bands ever,FINCH released their second effort in 1976...Undoubtfully tha talent of the band in all sections is obvious...Long fully instrumental compositions with tons of changing moods,nice interplays and great composition skills...They sound like an instrumental version of their native fellows FOCUS,especially in the guitar work and the more symphonic moments of the album...At times they rock dangerous blending jazz/blues/rock and symphonic in a very intense way,then is when the argentinian band CRUCIS comes to mind...The more melodic passages remind me also of CAMEL...But...

I dont know but something doesnt work very well for me to consider this disc a masterpiece or a must have...Really dont know exactly what,maybe its the comparison with the above mentioned bands which I consider a level up from FINCH...Listening to the first track I catch myself a little bored along the way...Maybe its the absence of the vocals and sometimes the good vocals make a song even better and more expressive...As for the best track I think ''Beyond the bizarre'' is the best by far...very FOCUS oriented,a little complex,a little melodic,a little jazzy,a little symphonic,it just has it all,I love it...

I'll rate this second album by FINCH with 3.5 stars and I agree with all you that this is qualitive progressive rock...Almost essential...

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#178282)
Posted Sunday, July 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP
Moderator / Psych / Avant / Neo Teams
5 stars Wow, what aggressive sounds!

It's so disappointing that Finch's great albums couldn't be re-released. I'm sure it's one of the most excellent progressive rock bands all over the world. The first album (Glory Of The Inner Force) has smooth but upbeat atmosphere from start to end, and this second one is more active and more aggressive. Especially, BEYOND THE BIZARRE has a very heavy and sticky face (I always say the sticky sound is like Enka, the Japanese folksong). The sticky KOBUSHI sound can drag us prog-listeners in Finch world like a drug.

But, please wait, I guess the terrific sound was born from the unstability of the group. That is, as many proggers say, the close-to-the-edge sound, isn't it?

At any rate, this album is really BEYOND EXPRESSION.

*KOBUSHI...the kind of melody in Japanese Enka

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Send comments to DamoXt7942 (BETA) | Report this review (#191578)
Posted Wednesday, December 03, 2008 | Review Permalink
friso
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Finch - Beyond Expression (1976)

Just as the title...

Finch is one of the best Dutch symphonic prog bands, thought hey didn't have a lot of attention at the time they played. Their combination of heavyness/speed , fusion-elements, symphonic and instrumental prog has become quite legendary for it's no-nonsense approach. Guitarist Joop van Nimwegen can compote with the best of guitarst, Peter Vink actually is one of the best bass players, drummer Beer Klaasse can keep up with them and key player Cleem Determeijer did his symphonic homework very well.

On the the debut of Finch, Glory of the Inner Force, Finch had four ten minute tracks, completely instrumental. This concept worked very well, though the music was a bit to intense and non-directional for my taste to be named a masterpiece. As if this act of extreme progrock wasn't enough, Finch tried to get even more heavy on Beyond Expression. The first side is filled by A Passion Condensed. Great ideas after great ideas, technical superior to about everyone active in their field, this track just doesn't work for me. There is no form, there seems to be no direction in the track, to much noodling, to less comfortable melodies. The solo's are however great and the ideas are on itself great, the conceptual compostion is just not good enough. The recording of the quality of the record doesn't help at all by having a bad bass and a messy sound. On side two we have Scars On The Ego and Beyond the Bizarre. Both tracks have the exactly the same problem as A Passion Condensed. They sound motivated, technical bizarre, but they have no soul at all. Like this could be seen as the Dream Theater of the seventies.

Yes, though I don't like to admit it, being proud of this highly technical Dutch progband (I'm from Holland myself), the title of this album tells us exactly what is wrong with it: It's BEYOND expression.. a few steps to far, to extreme, naive. Still this is highly rewarding for proggers who like greatly inventive but intensive symphonic/jazz prog. The avarage symphoprogger might nog get into this. Three stars, but with a feeling of discontent: This could have been that perfect progrecord. Just by adding some form to the songs, some vocals would have been nice and a ballad/downtemp song could have made this a very nice experience.

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Send comments to friso (BETA) | Report this review (#248619)
Posted Saturday, November 07, 2009 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Finch's second album, Beyond Expression, is a wonderful counterpart to Glory of the Inner Force, and continues that album's approach of producing symphonic prog from heavy, Mahavishnu Orchestra influenced instrumental performances. Once again, the band produce a highly technically accomplished album with a level of complexity a cut above what many competitors in the symphonic field were producing at the time. Once again, the sound can best be described as being reminiscent of what might happen if John McLaughlin barged his way into the Emerson, Lake and Palmer lineup and became their lead songwriter. In short, it's another four-star winner from Finch, and if you liked their first album you should definitely consider checking this one out.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#549098)
Posted Wednesday, October 12, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Beyond Expression is the second release of the Dutch instrumental-only sympho proggers Finch. Finch prooved with their near-excellent debut "The Glory of the Inner Force" that they belong to Holland's finest 70's prog artists with a sound between Focus, Camel and Yes with the speed of Mahavishnu Orchestra. Beyond Expression has no line-up changes (although PA notes Jan v. Nimwegen instead of Joop v. Nimwegen on the debut record: this is a misstake: both records contain Joop v. Nimwegen) and has litle difference in sound in comparison with Finch's debut record. It sounds a bit more like Camel and there are less guitar pyrotechnics a la Jan Akkerman, although Van Nimwegen is still playing at intriguing speed. The record just contains three compositions, whereby the first composition is a sidefilling track.

Although the band is based on the guitarist Joop v. Nimwegen and bassist Peter Vink (ex Q65 (top Dutch acid rock band)) it is the keyboard player which delivers the nicest parts. Especially the solo's of Determijer on "A Passion Condensed" and "Scars on the Ego" are quiet brilliant. The solo's of Van Nimwegen are technically correct and interesting, but miss the sparkle it had on "The Glory..". Also the songwriting is somewhat less good then on Finch's debut. Especially "Beyond the Bizarre" cannot hold my attention.

This record misses the fresh energy it had on Finch's debut record. Finch has not changed in sound and therefor created a copy of the debut, which is less sparkling however and misses the fine touch. Together with a not-optimal production I conclude that this is a record which will amuse the fans, but is not essential. 3,5 stars.

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Send comments to the philosopher (BETA) | Report this review (#894070)
Posted Tuesday, January 15, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars An all out progressive assault, Finch breaks the doors open with this 1976 release. Still heavily influenced by the usual symphonic groups, Finch takes this release a step further and introduces some Allman Brothers influence. It's not clear how much the group members listened to the Allmans, but "A Passion Condenser" is heavily reminiscent of certain Allman Bros staples, like "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed, "You Don't Love Me", even "High Falls". It's a shame few other progressive groups took this approach. This element gives the music a happy, intimate feeling many progressive records lack.

Beyond Expression is an essential album for the discerning collector. A flying space sperm with a flaming mohawk on the cover wraps up this classic package.

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Send comments to Suedevanshoe (BETA) | Report this review (#1054865)
Posted Sunday, October 06, 2013 | Review Permalink
Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars The upbeat jazz rhythm and guitar tone are heavily reminiscent of Camel. In fact, if anyone liked Camel but thought they could've rocked out more, he would find satisfaction in Finch's second album. My greatest criticism is that the guitarist is too industrious, frequently erupting in a blitzkrieg of high-pitched notes.

"A Passion Condensed" I found the initial synthesizer a bit rough, though the lead guitar is satisfying and the rhythm section is in overdrive for much of the piece. The softer side of Finch emerges midway through, perhaps to offer the listener a respite from the rapid jazzy rock that filled the first eight minutes. The scathing guitar work is too busy, flying about like a hummingbird on uppers over a chord progression identical to "Breathe" by Pink Floyd.

"Scars on the Ego" The second and shortest piece offers the keyboardist an opportunity to shine through various sonic textures, and thankfully, the guitarist shows his more placid capabilities. Though the electric guitar solo is still riddled with activity, it serves well as a crescendo tapering off into the halcyon haze.

"Beyond the Bizarre" Gentle and melodic, this is perhaps the most solid of the three compositions, because even when it becomes heavier, it is not perforated with rapid-fire guitar. Indeed, the lead player infuses the piece with appropriate bends and phrases that accentuate the rhythmic shifts. The smooth, happy-go-lucky keyboard runs are reminiscent of "Cinema Show" by Genesis.

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Send comments to Epignosis (BETA) | Report this review (#1163929)
Posted Monday, April 21, 2014 | Review Permalink

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